Date Posted: June 25th, 2012
With rising populations in rural areas, there are more possibilities for conflict between wildlife and human settlements. Elephants can cause major problems for farmers, but other animals can be problematic as well. Human-wildlife conflict is difficult to manage in a way that brings a good outcome for both people and animals.
In July 2010, the Food and Agriculture Organization produced a toolkit to help resolve, prevent and mitigate the growing problem of conflict between humans and wild animals. For more information, visit: http://www.fao.org/news/story/pt/item/44027/icode/en/.
Here are two news stories on elephants and bees:
Kenya: Bees to Sting Away Elephants From Farms http://allafrica.com/stories/201204261285.html
Beehives stop elephant crop-raids in Kenya, Africa http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/14106484
Farm Radio International published the following script on balancing the needs of farmers and the needs of wildlife:
-Balancing the interests of wildlife and rural communities: Lessons from Buabeng-Fiema monkey sanctuary in Ghana (Package 87, Script 1, April 2009) http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/87-1script_en.asp
Here’s another script which presents examples of rural people who have found creative ways to preserve wildlife while furthering their own livelihoods, of using their environment without harming it.
-Forest communities generate income while conserving their environment (Package 87, Script 3, April 2009) http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/87-3script_en.asp
Here is a previous Farm Radio Weekly story from a nearby region:
Farm Radio Weekly has published three stories on methods for keeping elephants away from crops:
-Africa: Tiny but powerful – bees and chilies can keep elephants away from crops (Various Sources) (FRW 1, December 2007) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2007/12/03/africa-tiny-but-powerful-%E2%80%93-bees-and-chilies-can-keep-elephants-away-from-crops-various-sources/
-Kenya: ‘Beehive fence’ can keep elephants away from crops (FRW #86, November 2009)
-Botswana: Chilies are a harmless ’weapon’ against intruding elephants (Mmegi) (FRW #105, March 2010)
If elephants or other wild animals pose problems or dangers to farmers in your listening area, you might want to devote a program or series of programs to this topic. If elephants are the problem, invite farmers, wildlife experts from government or NGOs, and others to discuss the possibility of using beehives and/or chillies to prevent elephant raids.
You could also invite a wildlife expert to your studio and open the phone lines to the audience. Ask any farmers who have had problems with wild animals to call in and describe their experiences, as well as any successful solutions they have devised.